The much-anticipated Bollywood action-thriller 'Fighter' was set to release in the UAE on Saturday, January 27. However, residents are now unable to view show times for the film or book tickets.
Earlier, Indian media reports had stated that the Hrithik Roshan and Deepika Padukone-starrer would be banned across the Gulf, except the UAE – where it would be screened with a PG15 rating.
However, customer care agents from VOX and Reel Cinemas have confirmed that the film has been suspended by authorities in the UAE.
"The film has been suspended by the Dubai authorities, it has been red-flagged in all cinemas. We have no further information as of now," a Reel cinemas customer care agent said on call.
The distributor of the film in UAE, Home Screen Entertainment, also took to social media to note the suspension of the Bollywood movie's release.
The film does not feature on any cinemas' websites in the UAE, although one can see the show timings that had been decided earlier using Google search.
The UAE National Media Council is the official regulatory authority of films in the country, and is yet to make an official statement on the suspension of the film.
'Fighter' is a war-based movie which revolves around members of the Indian Air Force. It follows the life of Shamsher Pathania (Hrithik Roshan) and Minal Rathor (Deepika Padukone) as they navigate India's national security situations.
Nineteen-year-old Pakistani expat in Dubai, Warda Sherwani, said, "There is so much war going on right now, and I don't see why we should promote more war."
Ehaab Qadeer, an Indian videographer based in Dubai, said that he understands why the film is seen as controversial in some countries. "I feel like freedom of expression and art should be used to unite people."
The film has been banned in countries across the GCC, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.
Ahmad Al Marzooqi, an Emirati Bollywood movie reviewer and enthusiast, said to Khaleej Times, "Actually, I am with the censors, after what is happening in Palestine."
He added, "I am happy that the Arab audiences are with me and against the film." This is not the first time that a film has been suspended or delayed in UAE.